John Chambers - Tip #3

Board strategy on the first deal

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Many people, including experienced players, do not understand the significance of the start of the game. It can effect your strategy and which player gets control of the game. It may also have an effect on the number of options available to you.

Let's examine the very first hand of the game. On the average, the dealer will get 3.5 points in the play, 8 points in their hand and 4.5 points in the crib for an average of 16 points.

The non-dealer will average 2 points in the play and 8 points in their hand for a total of 10 points.

With this in mind, on the average, the dealer should have a small advantage having the first deal. Many people may say it is not much of an advantage to deal first and they are right. But don't give up that advantage, no matter how small.

On the first hand, on the average, it is more advantageous for the nondealer to play on than for the dealer. Why? Because if the nondealer reaches approximately hole 17 on the first hand, with the dealer not too far behind, the nondealer has actually gained the advantage which the dealer had by dealing first, regardless of the minuteness of that advantage. It is still an advantage.

The dealer, on the average, has three counts to get to hole 17, so why peg in the play if it will only help the nondealer more.

- Republished from Cribbage: A New Concept by permission. Text copyright © 2002 by John Chambers. All rights reserved.

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